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Description: Discovering the way to be delivered from self, fear, worry and anxiety.
Freedom From Anxiety and Worry
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
It might be good loved ones if you’d take that booklet with our church principles and just look at
the back page of it. That would be a good beginning for what I think God wants us to talk about this
morning. I have my sermon nicely typed but I know I shouldn’t preach it this morning. I am going to
trust God to speak to us directly Himself.
Look at the back page and then at #5. “We believe that it is the will of God that each believer
should be sanctified through identification with Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection and
through the agency of the Holy Spirit be separated from the world and sin and fully consecrated to
the will of God thereby, receiving power for holy living and effective service.”
That’s part of our doctrinal statement. We believe that it is the will of God that each believer
should be sanctified, made clean through identification with Jesus Christ in His death and
resurrection and through the agency of the Holy Spirit be separated from the world and sin and fully
consecrated to the will of God thereby, receiving power for holy living and effective service.
Then I just thought that the text should be Galatians 5:1, “For freedom, Christ has set us free.
Stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” I remember in the early days,
we had a Californian surf rider called Bruce Forney who had an afro-haircut and one of the wildest
among us. He kept on teaching us that miserable song that I could never get the tune of and he
wasn’t any better singer than I am or Jim Raymo but he would sing, “Stand fast therefore in the
liberty, therewith Christ has made you free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage.” He
used to sing that song and as you can hear, I don’t know it any better than I did then. But it is
interesting that that is the King James translation of Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the
liberty where with, Christ hath made you free and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage.”
Part of what we were talking about last Sunday was that. That’s what sanctification is. I really
haven’t used the term among us because so often it’s been overused in denominations that specialize
in that message. But really that’s what we’re talking about. We’re talking about sanctification or
the victorious life or the power that God can give us through the Holy Spirit to live above sin and
above self and what we said you remember last Sunday, is that most of us of course do not live
according to God’s directions at all from when we were born.
We are brought up by our parents with teachers and with other friends and older people who make it
very plain to us by their own actions, (except maybe for an old saint here and there), that the only
way to get on in this world is to live by dependence upon this world. It’s very earlier on that we
begin to depend on what this world can give us for our safety. So all of us here are used to earning
a few pennies on our newspaper routes or maybe a little more than that today. And we’re used to
getting a little bit of sense of importance from the way the others treat us at school and from
pleasing our moms and dads and it all seems kind of innocent in the early days.
But I think we’re all aware that even in teenage years, you begin to be a little slave to those
things and especially to this business of what people think. I think there are many of us here today
who would say, “Brother, I am right, that’s where I am at this minute. I am governed by what people
think of me. I am very concerned about what people think and very put out if they don’t think well
of me and I would have to admit that many of my actions are based on pleasing the boss or pleasing
my loved ones or pleasing my friends or my relatives or my parents,” and probably everyone of us
here would testify to the fact that we have become very dependent on the world for our source of
income and for our money and for our possessions and the things that we need.
All of us, whether we work on commission or not, probably feel very, very obligated to the school
where we work or the company where we work. We would not like to say that we have sold our souls to
the company store but we are aware that that exerts tremendous pressure on us and indeed, I think
many of us probably would find it being passed on to our children when those things are not coming
forth for us. Maybe the job is lost or maybe something happens to the economy and we get uptight. So
often the child doesn’t understand what the pressure is but we understand that we passed on to them
the bit of fretfulness and anxiety that comes upon us.
Of course, that’s the truth of it, isn’t it? You can’t depend on the world for those things or on
people for your own sense of value without, of course eventually becoming wrought by anxiety because
they don’t come through for you, they just don’t. People all the time, have other opinions of you.
All the time people criticize you, all the time people don’t support you, all the time you’re
failing other people and they’re thinking you’ve failed them and you feel that. All the time you’re
having situations where the business fails or the company fails or the salary doesn’t come through.
So, it becomes a very, very anxious life for many of us. And what we shared was that wasn’t what God
planned at all. God’s own plan was to supply us Himself with those things, maybe through companies,
maybe through businesses and maybe directly by His own hand. But He would be faithful to us if we
did what He had put us here on earth to do. Of course the tragedy with most of us is we’ve been so
dependent on the world that we have not been able to hear His voice at all. And for years we’ve
never heard His voice.
We maybe hear it very crudely through conscience but we have not heard guidance from Him for years.
And to tell the truth, we’re not very sure whether what we’re doing is what He means us to do or
not. Certainly from day to day, we’re not very conscious of a day-to-day momentary guidance and on
the whole, we speak from the best we have in our heads. We say the best things we can when we face
different situations but we’re not very aware of guidance from above. And of course we shared that,
the answer to that is that there can be given to us a spirit, a Spirit of Jesus, a Spirit of God
that will begin to give us that direction from within and that will begin to reveal to you what you
are meant to do in this world and will begin to give you detailed day-by-day guidance.
When you hear of that, and you begin to see the things in your life that are wrong and not according
to God’s will, and you repent of those and ask God to give you that Spirit, that Spirit of Jesus
sweetly comes in to you. You’re born of God and you become a Christian and become a child of God.
The amazing thing is that it is true what we said last day that it is a bit like honeymoon. It’s a
bit like honeymoon but not the little cynical idea of honeymoon, “Oh the honeymoon is over, now get
down to the real thing.” No, honeymoon was given to us in marriage to show us the way marriage
should always be. It’s an overwhelming surge of God’s dynamic creative life, to give us the feel of
what life it should always be like.
See, if you think of it for a little baby to come out of the dear mother’s body, there’s a
tremendous source of power and urge and creative life needed to bring that about– much more than
after it’s born into the outer world. Everything and every time anything is created, it requires a
tremendous explosion of power and that’s what God gives us in the new birth. That’s what He gives us
on a honeymoon time. He says this is what life is always meant to be like but now you must get down
after the honeymoon to expressing this in deliberate willing day-by-day to your loved one. This that
has come through so spontaneously to you, you’re meant to do day-by-day by your own will and
commitment and it’s the same with the new birth.
God at that time gives us a tremendous sense that He is supplying all things and that we can depend
on Him utterly so much so that most of us that have been born of God would testify to the fact,
those were glorious days, they were wonderful days, they were just great days. I felt there was
nothing to worry about, there was nothing to be anxious about, I found no difficulty obeying Him and
witnessing for Him. I found no difficulty in praying. My heart seems filled with God and I had a
life that was magical. I had been transformed out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His
The truth we often miss is that God gives us that gracious lifting power to reveal to us how we’re
meant to be throughout our relationship with Him and throughout our lives. But the actual truth is
that there are many parts of the world that we have not actually cut ourselves off from. We’re still
involved in our businesses and in our company and we’re still involved in what people think of us.
It’s just that God gives us a tremendous burst of power that raises us above all that for awhile.
But actually it’s sheer grace. And we ourselves have not actually dealt with those things in our
hearts and that’s what begins to be revealed to us loved ones, after we start to have troubles in
the Christian life. That’s why we begin to cry, “The good that I would, I cannot do and the evil I
hate is the very thing I do.”
It’s when that begins to happen to us; when we begin to go into that switch back life that we’ve so
often talked about where you have great mountain top experiences, and then great valleys where you
disobey God and you hurt people and then a mountain top experience with God and then down again.
When that begins, that is God graciously saying to you, “Now there is a lot of My Son’s death that
you have not entered into. There is a miracle that I have done in My Son that is greater than simply
relating you to Me. There is something that I have done for you in Jesus that you have not yet
experienced,” and the truth is loved ones, that even after the new birth, most of us here are still
strangely dependent on the world. We still have all kinds of entanglements with it, all kinds of
ways in which we’re bound to it by chains.
Do you realize how powerful is the influence of a person on you on whose opinion you depend? You
realize the power that that man has over you, or that woman has over you? If they just appear not to
approve of you, your heart just goes down. It’s as if you’re a little marionette or puppet, tied to
their feelings by strings. I don’t need to tell all of you about the power of the banking world or
the power of our businesses over us, or the power of our sources of security. If it just wavers, if
it just misses a beat, a heartbeat, if we ever think the person is going to take a wrong turn, it’s
amazing how it enslaves us and controls us.
The truth is that in a thousand ways, you and I are bound to this world on which we have been
dependent from when we were little children and I know many of you, tie it to our parents, but dear
ones our parents are just part of the whole thing you know. Our parents are only a part of it. We
were taught to be dependent upon them and to please them and they didn’t wish to enslave us in any
way. But it is part of the supernatural elemental spirits of the universe that tie us and slave us
in a wrong way to moms and dads, to older people, to coaches, to teachers, then to our bosses then
to our peers then to our friends. It is dumb, but then it’s to the TV commercials. Then to the guys
that are famous and popular. We become enslaved in a thousand million different ways to all these
things and then you know, we wonder why it is that the good I would I cannot do and the evil I hate
is what I do.
No wonder, because you and I are attached to all kinds of umbilical cords. We’re attached by all
kinds of cords and strings and bondages to the outside world and the world around us. And of course,
there is only one way to become free of that and that is through the work that God has done on
Calvary. Loved ones, there are entanglements that you cannot free yourself from. There are reasons
for your anxiety and worry that you cannot even discern. You cannot trace them.
The psychiatrist, and the psychologist can go as far as ‘makes no difference’ because the truth is
that this whole dependency situation has begot in you a mind of the flesh and the Bible says the
mind of the flesh is enmity against God, enmity, because it depends on the world and you have to
depend either on the world or on God. The mind of a flesh is enmity against God. It is not subject
to God’s law neither indeed can it be.
Of course the tragedy with so many of us in our churches is that we have tried to continue a
Christian life while allowing that mind of the flesh to remain within us. We have continued to try
to carry on the Christian life even though we were still actually being governed by the external
stimuli. We were being governed by the outside things, by the circumstances around us, by the things
around us, by the people around us even though we were still being governed by those things, even
though we hardly knew it. All we did know was, “Boy, it’s harder to obey Jesus then it used to be,
it’s harder to obey God, in fact I can’t obey Him. There are things that I don’t seem able to obey
Loved ones, the reason is, that we’re still entangled and attached to those things by a million
different cords and chains and there is no way in which we can free ourselves from those and of
course, the whole dear world of Christendom is built on that. It is built on that. Our churches are
filled with loved ones who have never come free of those things but who continue somehow to try.
I remember my own agony. I would read in this book, I can do all things through Christ that
strengthen me, and as a young man I said, “No, I can’t, that isn’t true.” I would read what these
great Psalmists said about the wonderful times they had before God and about the victory over sin.
“Whosoever is born of God, does not commit sin.” And I thought, “No, that isn’t true of me. I do
sin. I cannot do all things through Christ that strengthened me.” So our dear world of Christendom
is faced with a Bible that it has to continually disbelieve in order to keep itself believing it is
in the kingdom of God. And so we have a church that limps along with all kinds of crutches with
psychiatrists, with psychologists, with books on renewing our minds and changing our temperaments
with all kinds of tricks and aids and helps and thoughts that are suppose to help us live the way
God meant us to live.
Loved ones, the truth all the time is on that dear Cross you know, that we have in front of us in
many of our churches. God has done in Jesus a work that will deliver you from that. That’s the
meaning of Calvary. The meaning of Calvary is not simply that He has born our sins so that God will
not have to condemn us. The truth of Calvary is He has borne our sin, this thing within us which is
so independent and so dependent on the world, which is so independent of God’s opinion and so
dependent on man’s opinion, which is so independent of God’s provision and so dependent on man’s
provision, that is so independent of God’s joy and so dependent on the world’s happiness.
God has wrought a work on Calvary that has destroyed the connection that you have to the world and
that’s the meaning of that great verse where Paul said, “I glory in only one thing, the Cross of our
Lord Jesus Christ by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” That’s the
meaning of Calvary. On the Cross, in Jesus, God crucified the world to you. That is He crucified the
world’s connection with you and He crucified you to the world.
He crucified your connection to the world. He destroyed those thousand million umbilical cords that
tie you to the world and that tie you to what you’ve been up to this moment. When we talk about
sanctification, we talk about those moments – for some of us they’re gradual moments, for some of us
they’re one great moment. Those moments or that moment, when you accept that by faith, deeply in
your heart and as a result, the Holy Spirit of God sanctifies you and manifests the victory of
Calvary in your own life and separates you from the world inside so that you’re freed.
Now, why I am hitting this, this morning is, I would point you to a verse that a dear man used to
talk about. I never knew it or looked it up before in detail but it is Daniel 4:33, “Immediately the
world was fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox and
his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hair grew as long as eagle’s feathers and his
nails were like bird’s claws.”
The dear man who first told me about the victorious life used to say that, “Yeah if you don’t go
into that brother, your body will be wet of the dew of heaven and your hair will grow as long as
eagle’s feathers and your nails will be like bird’s claws.” Obviously what he was referring to was
that Nebuchadnezzar was a man who was prospered mightily by God and had a mighty kingdom. But he did
not stay under God’s trust and under God’s dependence and this is how he ended up.
Now, could I testify to you from my own experience? That’s what you’ll end up like, if you don’t go
on. If you don’t go on into the deliverance that God has wrought in Jesus, low and behold loved ones
you’ll end up with Satan making a clown of you. You really will. He will make a mockery of you. He
will, he’ll bring you to a place that is humiliating and that is pitiful. He will. I think many of
us you see think, “Well no, Satan is not that bad and he won’t take us right to the end.” He will.
He is ruthless. He has no love of you or me whatever. He will destroy you and then re-destroy you
and then re-destroy you after that.
He will keep on burrowing in until there’s nothing left of you. And some of us say, “Well, we don’t
like the idea of dying with Jesus,” but you either die with Jesus or you’ll die under this guy’s
hands. You will either die with Jesus or you will eventually come to a place where your Christianity
is a laughing stock for you. And where your Christianity is laid on the ground and you find yourself
in this position.
Why? Because if you’re really born of God, you’re spoiled for the world, You’re spoiled for the
world. You’re really spoiled for the world. You have known something of God. You know there is a
better way and there’s no going back. You can never go back. So if you go back like Nebuchadnezzar,
you end up in this spot. You can’t feel your way through again to the kind of ignorant, independent
sin that you were involved in before. So if you don’t go the whole way with God, you’ll end up like
Now the reason I testify to it this morning is that the death must be complete. That is, I don’t
know if you can really catch it but it really does mean Bob Scott, Bob Fehling, Bob Cook, Clyde
Anderson, Dan Fowler, John Spaulding, Jim Raymo, Ernest O’Neill, it means us being crucified and
ended as to what we have been up to this time. That’s what it means and that’s what God, I remember
showed me 20 years ago. It means the ending of us men and women for what we have been in our life.
It means the dying of what we have been known as. It means a dying of us. It means that all that we
have been up to this moment is crucified and destroyed by God in Jesus. It has already been done and
we’re saying that we accept that. If you say “Does that mean from now on, you’re nobody?” Yes,
that’s right, you’re a nobody. Thank God you don’t end up a nobody. He gloriously fulfills His
promise of filling you with the Holy Spirit and moving you on and moving you into that victorious
life that Jesus is living at the right hand of God. But that’s what you become.
You become a vessel in whom the Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, lives His victorious life.
Actually you, yourself don’t get anymore of that selfish satisfaction out of it. You regard your own
life as finished and dead from that moment. And that has to be a complete worth loved ones. That’s
what the Holy Spirit witnesses to when He fills you. He witnesses to the completeness of that work.
Now I would testify to the fact that if you don’t walk in the completeness of that work, you’ll be
back in this mess. You’ll be back in all the old anxiety and all the old worry and all the old
trouble. I see it of course very clearly because I can see how it has even worked to some extent
here in our own dear family. God has continued to just bless this dear body (our church) and you
continue to be just the dearest and most faithful loved ones Sunday by Sunday. And the businesses
have to a certain extent been that. But I can look back to a time when I remember God showing me,
“Now listen, you operate the businesses by a different way. You operate them by faith in Me and when
it comes to loans from the bank and that kind of thing, you steer clear.” and I was innocent enough
thank God at that time, I knew little enough about business to believe Him.
Then I sensed that the only way the businesses would work of course for the glory of Jesus is if we
had loved ones in, who were fully committed and fully surrendered, who were sanctified, who were
dead to self and alive to God and Christ Jesus. Then you probably remember how we started in all
kinds of situations. Some of us were into drugs. We were in those young days around 1970 when the
world was chaos and America was even more chaotic than the world and nobody knew what was what. And
so we had all kinds of people coming into the businesses and not everybody was at that point a full
surrender. I remember wondering, “Should a loved one be in a business like this for the glory of
Jesus if they haven’t settled these things?” But we went on with them thinking, “Well, maybe
they’ll be drawn into it.”
But the amazing thing is, if you in your own life go on without settling this sooner or later, every
move that you make in that unsettled way will begin to build what Nebuchadnezzar had. It’ll begin to
build a mixed kingdom in your life. You’ll begin to build things and make commitments yourself in
your own personal life that aren’t God’s will for you and gradually that will develop a whole
tenuous network that is the mixture that so often is Christendom today, that mixture of God’s power
and man’s power.
As I look back, I can see how our businesses began to develop that way in so many ways. And then of
course, the pressure is, “well, how do I keep the businesses going?” and then you begin to ease into
man’s ways. Certainly God has made it very clear to me that that must end and whether it ends in our
business or not, it must end in me, and it must be finished in me. So, I won’t tell you details but
certainly the nails like bird’s claws or the hair, that’s very real for me now.
You’ll go that way if you don’t keep clean and you’ll wear yourself out and be burdened by anxiety
and be destroyed by the whole mess either personally or communally, if you don’t walk in it absolute
cleanness and death to what you are yourself and to anything you can do. But let me tell you this,
that if you will enter into that, (and here’s why I testify so joyfully today), there is complete
liberty, complete freedom from every anxiety, complete freedom from worry about where your own life
is going or what you’re doing, complete freedom and liberty.
In other words, it is possible to stand therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free
and not to be entangled again with the yoke of bondage. So I share it with you as a living testimony
now and I have some hard things to build up and you all can see it plainly but I can’t build them
up, it has to be God through all of us. If He builds it good, if He doesn’t build it, that’s good.
But certainly this beginning of it all for every one of us is settling that place of full
sanctification in Jesus and not giving in until God has brought us right through there to clarity. I
feel for everyone of you here who still have trouble obeying the commandments because I’ll tell you
I have experienced some of that in recent months and as I can, you read that verse, “Have no
anxiety, have no anxiety”, and you say, “Yeah, I have no anxiety.” You do a little bit of self
analysis and psychology stuff and you keep saying “I am having no anxiety, I am having……….”
It’s utterly different from that. It’s utterly different.
When you settle things in Jesus, the Spirit of God just brings you a life that is free from worry.
It’s just different. It’s just completely different. It’s just plain again to me how absolutely
different it is. I want to share it with you because for years, I have out of love for many of you
and for many of the young men and women, bent over backwards and said, “Yeah well, that’s right you
do have some difficulty”, and yet when I first came into it there were no difficulties.
There is freedom and liberty in Jesus death on Calvary. There is complete deliverance from self and
complete deliverance from fear and worry and anxiety. It’s just as different as day is from night.
That’s why God says things like “He transferred us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom
of His beloved Son.”
It is an utterly different life. And if you say, “What is the key brother?” the key is: yielding to
Jesus everything that God destroyed of you in His Son’s death. Everything is all your past life. I’m
not going to tone that down to make a better defense to the psychologists who say, “Well, then you
lose your personality.” Okay you lose your personality, but you don’t. It seems to me it’s complete
and absolute and you can’t tone it down without losing everything and ending up back in
So, I’d like to warn you, I am going to blast at this as long as there is a congregation to listen
to me and if you don’t like it, then I’ll go to England and I’ll blast it there. But I am going to
keep doing it and I pray that God will honor and bless the truth that He has used to liberate me and
I pray that He’ll bless it to your hearts and that He’ll liberate you. And if you say to me, “What
about all the things that have to be fixed?”
Well, we’d better get started and start fixing them. That’s what we’ll do. If we are faithful, God
will honor our faithfulness and He’ll do what He wants to do with us. But it seems to me, He wants
for us a great ease and peace in Himself, a great rest in Himself and then a great ease and peace
and rest as a body. And if we entered into that, and enter into peace there, God is able to do some
things through us that might bring Him glory.
I pray especially for each of you who have some of the dregs left and some of the uncertainties
left. Those of you who were borne of God and not quite clear on those things. Let me just say, “Okay
if this creature here can come through to it, well, you can come through it.” God has done it for
all of us.
Dear Father, we thank You for Jesus’ death on Calvary. We thank You Lord for the completeness of
that work. We thank You Father that it did not leave out any bit of us and Lord, unless we get
everything onto the altar, we will not experience the deliverance from self that that wrought for
us. So Lord, we ourselves would not leave a hand hanging off the altar or a leg hanging off the
altar or a little bit of our bank account hanging off the altar or a little bit of our future hopes
hanging off the altar. Lord, we would put everything on the altar this day. We are amazed that the
altar does in a way, sanctify the gift. That the Holy Spirit of God falls upon the sacrifice and it
does something that the sacrificing itself does not do. Lord, we thank You for that.
We thank You that there is a sense in which we sanctify ourselves. We set ourselves apart from other
things to You, but there’s a sense in which You alone can sanctify us by the fire of the Holy Spirit
falling upon us and bringing us that life and that liberty that exist in Jesus. So, Lord, we thank
You, thank You that You have all this for us.
We pray for each other here in this gathering this morning, pray for loved ones here to whom You
have spoken and help them Lord to see that it’s done in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, the
moment they surrender everything and put it all in Your hands and say, “Lord, I regard my life is
now finished, all that I have built up, all that I have become over these years from when I was
born, I regard all that as crucified with You and ended. I no longer exist in this world. Lord, I
give this body and this mind and this emotion and spirit to You”.
Now, Lord, thank You that You will accept such a gift. And You will fill that loved one with your
Holy Spirit and they will not want for direction in their life. They will not want for power to live
this life pleasing to You, a glory to You, and fulfilling for them also. Thank You Lord that if we
lose our lives for Your sake, we find them. Thank You Father. Amen.